The reproduction of vertebrates is controlled by a complex network of regulatory signals along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. However, a recent finding showed the presence of a new regulator acting on this axis, the kisspeptin. Kisspeptin is a neuropeptide that acts as an intermediary between the feedback of gonadal steroids and the regulation of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secreting neurons. The function of this hormone is closely related to the onset of puberty, when there is an increase in GnRH levels and also during gonadal maturation. In this context, the project aims to characterize the kisspeptin system during gonadal development in a protandrous specie, Centropomus undecimalis, as well as to evaluate the effect of androgen 17-alpha methyltestosterone and estrogen 11-beta estradiol on the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis. To do so, the reproductive phases will be classified by morphology and the hormonal profile of the individuals will be traced as well as gene expression analysis. The information obtained in this project will contribute to the understanding of the biological mechanisms in the kisspeptin system, making possible new tools in the control of reproduction, particularly in the control of puberty. In addition, it will provide information on the role of the kisspeptin system during gonadal development and differentiation.
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